Something fowl in the village

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:44

    Warwick - Village of Warwick mayor Michael Newhard and the board of trustees are considering a request made by a young resident wishing to bring some sustainable agriculture or permaculture to his backyard. Raphael Cox came before the board on May 16 to request a waiver of a local law from 1976 that prohibits keeping fowl, rabbits and pigeons in the village. Cox wants to keep a small number of chickens for fresh eggs but village officials have concerns about public health and noise. Inasmuch as Cox’s request requires an amendment to the local law, village attorney Michael Meth advised the board to proceed cautiously so it does not violate its own statutes. Amending the law would require a public hearing. Nonetheless, Cox since has gained the support of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County in Middletown. The mayor also has met with Extension staffers who offered to work with Cox on an applied research pilot program. The board could amend the local law by including a special use permit requirement in order for the pilot program to proceed. Although the mayor and trustee Iurato support Cox’s initiative, questions remain including liability should something go wrong. Next steps include getting more information from the Extension about raising poultry and getting an opinion letter from the village’s insurance company. In other news: The board is considering changing its no idling vehicles policy to include all village vehicles and not just those weighing more than 8,500 pounds. The board is considering proposals for the installation of a fire alarm system at Village Hall. Current proposals range in price from $11,500 to $42,200, and differ significantly. Next steps include getting proper specifications for the system and signoff by the village engineer. The board is expecting a report within one month regarding the high water pressure problem at Homestead Village. The board authorized village engineer, HDR, to conduct a supplemental sewer system evaluation along Park Lane. The evaluation will take up to nine months and cost no more than $41,200. The village DPW will do much of the work. The board authorized village engineer, HDR, to automate the surface water treatment plant, which will allow the village to draw water from the reservoirs automatically rather than manually, as is currently being done. The board authorized village engineer, HDR, to prepare plans and bid documents for the Second Street sidewalk project at a cost of up to $18,000. The village will reuse the slate that is already in place. The board authorized payment of approved and audited bills totaling $184,145.44. The next regular meeting of the board is Monday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Warwick Village Hall, 77 Main St.